Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Standing up and calling bullshit

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  • Mrs Skin,

    an opinion that differs

    Opinions yes. Race-based crap, no. Did you really need to ask?

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Can't he express an opinion that differs from yours without being subjected to personal attacks like the above?

    Yes he can -- but if those views include paranoid Jew-baiting can I point, laugh, and ask whether he'd care to explain how the RSA and the management of the Auckland War Memorial Museum are part of the Jewish Guilt Machine?

    BTW, I do like Calder's film reviews but I also esteem T.S. Eliot as the greatest English language poet of the 20th century (and one of it's finest literary critics) despite being an anti-Semitic crank. The prejudice doesn't wipe out his towering literary achievements; but the work doesn't mitigate the noxious bigotry either.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Opinions yes. Race-based crap, no. Did you really need to ask?

    Righto. I think I bow out of PAS at this point.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    All this hounding of Peter Calder is making me feel a bit sick. Can we knock it off? If you read a newspaper on occasion, you would know that Calder is arguably NZ's best regularly published film critic, a very good theatre critic and feature writer and -- behind the scenes -- an excellent sub-editor. Can't he express an opinion that differs from yours without being subjected to personal attacks like the above?

    This is certainly one of those times when your moderator comes in to remind people that it's healthy to attack an argument with which you strongly disagree, not so to personally attack the person making it.

    I like Peter and enjoy his work -- but I am fairly shocked at what he wrote above: it's cheap and baseless. The "endless power" of the local Jewish lobby? Give me a break.

    This story was broken in Wellington, when someone -- probably one of the boys' peers -- tipped off a Radio New Zealand reporter. There are various reasons it became a prominent news story -- but the major one is surely that these boys, in uniform, on a school visit to a war memorial museum behaved offensively and saw fit publish the pictures.

    When and how was that not going to get them in a power of shit? It has nothing to do with the machinations of some faceless rich Jew lobby treading the carpeted corridors of power. But Peter's said that and he's going to have to live with it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Philip Matthews, point taken. That paragraph is superflous to the point I made above it & not where I wanted to go and why I didn't comment last night on this.

    But as a critic I'm sure he can deal with it.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Katie Brockie,

    Complete change of subject: As a person who has worked in children's TV for 18 years ( EBS, Yahoo, You and Me,Tikitiki ,Squirt, Bobby the Bus, Studio 2, Kidzone - and heaps more), it annoys me that when there is discussion about childrens' programming, it's always with executive producers or lecturers or someone at the top of the food chain. The best people to speak to are the presenters, the writers, the people who meet their audience every day, who read hundreds of thousands of letters and emails from kids, and who get direct feedback from their audience all the time, because a kids' audience is very direct and let you know straight away if they like something or not.
    The people at the coalface are rarely consulted and in fact, usually not taken seriously. I remember one Childrens TV commissioning editor at TVNZ saying "oh, don't take any notice of all the letters kids send in". Another one who refused to have anything to do with cooking on childrens' TV shows while he was in charge. Another who didn't like presenters dressing up as characters and doing "thespian shit", and another who, after a survey, didn't like the fact the kids considered our show at the time "educational" and "comforting".
    As you can see, this has struck a nerve with me!
    Anyhoo - next time there's ever a show about kids TV in NZ - get some of the people at the coalface in.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Someone just pointed out one can watch the english promo in front of any video on the TVNZ7 website (reloading if you get something else).

    So, if it were an official party political broadcast: what would be different?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    So, if it were an official party political broadcast: what would be different?

    Why don't you put that question to the Electoral Commission? David Cunliffe apparently doesn't want to, and I've got to admit he's been pretty adroit in not making an upfront allegation that TVNZ7 not only displayed partisan bias but flat out breeched the Broadcasting Act. But who needs to when you're blowing that dog-whistle for all it's worth?

    Would it be in order for someone to suggest Labour should either put up -- and only the most deranged tubs of wing-nut butter would question the independence of the Electoral Commission -- or shut up?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    As you can see, this has struck a nerve with me!
    Anyhoo - next time there's ever a show about kids TV in NZ - get some of the people at the coalface in.

    Thanks Katie -- your comments there are useful to me as I'm writing questions. But we do have two creative people there in Luke Nola and Jonathan King, vs one academic and one programmer ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Clarke,

    pantywaist? who on earth uses 'pantywaist' in normal conversation

    From now on, me whenever remotely feasible. Almost as good as 'lickspittle'.

    -36.76, 174.61 or thereab… • Since Nov 2006 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    His lack of awareness of the historical context of the advertisment is an indictment of our continual use of foreigners to oversee programming on our state run TV channels

    I was going to comment, but Craig seems to have this one in hand.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Anyhoo - next time there's ever a show about kids TV in NZ - get some of the people at the coalface in.

    I take your point but feel reassured that I have worked at 'the coal face' in a research sense, in that I have done considerable research (with Ruth Zanker from the NZ Broadcasting School) over the past 15 years or so. This has been child-centred research ie which the aim of providing children and teens to talk about their media experiences, rather than parents or teachers reporting on the relationships.
    I agree with your comments about the voice of the viewing audience--whenever programme makers get into arguments about ratings with schedulers and funders, I always recommend them calling on their fan base as a better measure eg the sacks of mail that What Now? gets, the response to competitions etc. The problem with ratings measurement (there are quite a few problems) is that population base for young age groups is often tiny--and often statistically invalid.

    About Peter Calder. He is a nice guy and a great film reviewer, so I am disappointed about his rant to this thread. I could get more offended as I am Jewish (well, my mother was) but I do hope he has gone away for a sit down and quiet reflection.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report Reply

  • Mrs Skin,

    This is certainly one of those times when your moderator comes in to remind people that it's healthy to attack an argument with which you strongly disagree, not so to personally attack the person making it.

    Argh, yes. I had gone through a convoluted reasoning in my head (could y'all not read my mind???) that ended up at 'I have no problem with people calling racism when the racism is evident'. Perhaps that didn't come through so well when I condensed it into the word 'no'.

    Or perhaps I find it difficult to reparate rascism from racists.

    My apologies, Philip and Russell, you are quite right.

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I was going to comment, but Craig seems to have this one in hand.

    Well, there's certainly more than enough to ping TVNZ's moribund news and current affairs operation for, without demanding an audit of staff's birth certificates.

    As for Eric Keley's supposed "lack of awareness of the historical context" on Morning Report today, he unsurprisingly wasn't having a bar of insinuations that TVNZ7's news and current affairs operation was not only grossly partisan -- but as Graeme has rather nicely pointed out, broke the law.

    (One might also think Radio New Zealand would be a little more sceptical about pushing this story, as I recall their own promos of a series of pre-election debates on the economy prominently featured an audio grab of the then-Finance Minister and shareholding minister in RNZ, Michael Cullen. Which didn't meet my definition of an illegal party political broadcast either.)

    If Tom doesn't get the "historical context" why that's about the most serious attack you can make on a public broadcaster, I despair.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Actually, Craig, my own intention was to set the world to rights by arguing on the internet.

    And I'm not presently concerned with theorising about how it happened, I just don't think running promos which are, as far as the viewer can tell, for Bill English is on.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And I'm not presently concerned with theorising about how it happened

    Um, Lyndon, when allegations are being thrown around that the Finance Minister (who happens to be a shareholding minister in TVNZ) is guilty of political interference in the editorial operations of a state owned broadcaster, I think such "theorising" is entirely the point.

    I just don't think running promos which are, as far as the viewer can tell, for Bill English is on.

    Lyndon: I'm sure there are "viewers" out there who think any coverage of the Labour Party is outrageous liberal media bias. I'd suggest, as a general comment, outsourcing editorial calls to hyper-partisan wingnuts and politicians looking for some attention is really not on.

    If the Labour Party really thinks TVNZ7 has broken the law, they have the option of going to the Electoral Commission regarding an egregious and blatant breech of the Broadcasting Act. You know, if they're really that concerned about the political independence of a public broadcaster, as opposed to a attack on Bill English (and if TVNZ7 ends up as collateral damage, never mind).

    Of course, if you're just dog-whistling that Bill English is an evil shithead, then the real priority is keeping the story running as long as you can. An actual complaint where you'd have to come up with some evidence would just spoil the fun.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    Wow, did I get taken for a newbie there. Took the post @9.07pm as an actual question, rather than rhetorical as it obviously was.

    Wow, didn't that escalate quickly towards Total Thermonuclear Devastation.

    Wow, I must realise that in addition to reading the bits of the newspaper that interest me, I must also read all the irrelevant bits so I can recognise the name of everyone who writes things I don't need/want to know about.

    (Resumes repose on sickbed)

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Whether it is intentionally biased or not, it is a really crap advertisement. Here is a man known for his inability to tell house from home - and his ability to profit from the confusion - telling us what a marvelous job he is doing. Frankly, I was not impressed. I shall not be watching.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Phil: no, it wasn't rhetorical -- I really was unsure whether it was the same Peter Calder, and wanted to know. But just so I could lower my estimation of the correct person, not in order to pursue beyond the bounds of PAS.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I'm not demanding an audit of people birth certificates. However, I do believe that the obvious ignorance Mr. Kearley had of the nature and tone of National Party advertisments within the last eight years is an obvious consequence of selecting someone who is from offshore to a senior programming role, and to me how and why these people end up the jobs they end up in is germaine to the debate.

    It seems to me to be obvious that a state institution at least nominally charged with some sort of cultural guardian role should be programmed by people with at least some passing knowledge of the history of the country they are programming in. Mr. Kearley is not even a long term resident, let alone a New Zealander. I believe that when recruiting for roles such as his, within a state institution with a cultural focus, a criteria should be an understanding of the local culture, and it social and political history.

    The fact the we don't means we end up with clear errors of judgment such as this one and with a state TV news and current affairs flavour that could have blown in from Wisconsin. Everyone here lauds the way MTV reflects Maori culture, without making the obvious connection that they do so with a staff recruited almost entirely from the community they serve, and that that is seen as important part of the job description within that organisation.

    This should all be common sense observations, but when it comes to "pursed lipped professional offense takers" Craig seems to pretty much fill the bill with his usual intemperate finger pointing accusations of racism.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Frankly, I was not impressed. I shall not be watching.

    I'll be intrigued to see whether David Cunliffe -- and his party -- have any actual economic policy or ideas beyond "Bill English sucks donkey dick." Stranger things have happened...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    I'll be intrigued to see whether David Cunliffe -- and his party -- have any actual economic policy or ideas beyond "Bill English sucks donkey dick." Stranger things have happened...

    As much as your party has ideas beyond satanic worship of the Free Market, how does that work for you?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Sigh......

    Time to get back to reality........Its a good one too. Maybe time for all ethnic bashers to take a good hard look at themselves and figure out is it really worth it?

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Craig seems to pretty much fill the bill with his usual intemperate finger pointing accusations of racism.

    Tom: Thanks for the usual troll-ish attempt at derailing the discussion by accusing others of your own sins, but I'm not going to take the bait. Eric Kearley's nationality is so far from being even remotely relevant to any rational discussion of Promo-gate (and alleged partisan bias and/or political interference in the editorial operations of a state-owned broadcaster), the only thing I regret is stating the bloody obvious.

    Or do you seriously want to argue that New Zealand has some "cultural" monopoly on the concept that state-owned broadcasters should be editorially independent from the Government of the day?

    As much as your party has ideas beyond satanic worship of the Free Market, how does that work for you?

    Oh, I'm sorry Lucy. I guess I've missed what the Labour Party's finance spokesman has had to say on matters economic today. Far too busy pissing his pants over a party political broadcast that only exists in his imagination.

    So, TVNZ7's debate moderated by Guyon Espiner -- which I understand Cunliffe will be participating in along with English and other party finance spokespersons -- will be quite a useful exercise after all. Especially when One seems to have pretty much given up on current affairs pitched above advertorial for stem cell snake oil merchants and tabloid-style crime porn.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I believe that when recruiting for roles such as his, within a state institution with a cultural focus, a criteria should be an understanding of the local culture, and it social and political history.

    For starters, we don't have that charter thing no more. You're making a role for TVNZ that it doesn't have any more.

    And secondly, this would rule out most people with overseas expertise from working at tvnz. I'd like 'good at their jobs' to be the prime requirement for employment.

    And thirdly, I struggle to believe that an advert called 'plain english' with a blue background is actually going to affect National party support. Labour should go back to digging around his house, that had traction at least.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

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